Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cancun pt 1

We left Pasco early Wednesday morning, to Salt Lake. We spend a few hours in the valley, packing and doing some errands before leaving to the airport again. Thanks to my sister for picking and dropping us off! We took Jet Blue, and it was pretty roomy. We had a 6-hour layover in Boston, which Summer took advantage of by sleeping, while I played Starcraft.

When we arrived, we were grateful that we traveled light. We brought two personal item back packs, one carry on, one checked in bag. We were instantly alleviated from the dry cold drudgery of home, and welcomed into tropical humid 80 degree paradise. We booked on AirBnb, and our host arranged a ride for us from the airport for cheap. The driver had a sign with my name on it, just like in the movies.

We stayed at the SolyMar hotel, in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. We
met our host in his office. He has many rental properties, and his wife helps him. They were extremely nice. We talked about some of the attractions, and restaurants in the area. It was brought up that I spoke Spanish, and he asked if I was LDS an
d served a mission. Turns out that he has LDS family in Tulum, and they've served missions. Also turns out that the wife lived in Malaga for while during the days of Franco.

The first day we were dead tired. We checked out the beach a bit, and then took a bus to the store to buy some groceries, and then we went to sleep.

We got a late start on the second day, and we swam in the Carribean Sea, hung out on the beach by our hotel, and went swimming in the hotel pool. The Carribean Sea was very rough and wavy, just like Tahiti. We went back to the store to get more groceries, and we walked around the mall a bit more. We got a few souvenirs.

The third day, we walked 1km to the Rey Ruinas, an archaeological site. It was pretty cool. Perhaps the best part was the numerous iguanas. We proceeded to swim across the street in the Playa Delfines. It was almost identical to our hotel beach, but less people.

It was New Years Eve! We ate at our hotel's buffet. It was very fancy and exciting. The fruit and produce was so fresh and ripe. The meat was really delicious.
We went out onto the beach, while listening to the hotel's party band play. We did a countdown and toasted two bottles of Apple Cider after the countdown. We were awarded with firework shows from each of the hotels along the strip. It was truly exhilarating. There was a lot of tension among the people at the beach and the hotel party, everyone wanted to dance and let loose, but in the end, we all just stood around awkwardly, taking selfies and videos.

New Years Resolutions 2017

New Years Eve here in Cancun! Love the palm trees swaying cool Caribbean breeze, and the excited glow along the beaches, ready to welcome in the new year!

2016 has been a good year, with lots of cool things (albeit unexpected) to happen! Had both cars break down, bought two new cars, graduated school, got my first Junior Developer position, got my first Mid-Level Developer position, had brain surgery, started getting better gigs in my band, got a puppy, visited Mexico for the first time and got a new stamp in my passport, got a professional guitar rig (my Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop, and Orange Rockerverb 50 combo, and a bunch of pedals), and got my wedding photos! (Edit: I was on the news for my political opinion)

Now is the time to create New Years Resolutions. I not only wa
nt to set goals for the next year, but for the next 5 years, to help me reach my 25 year goals. Last time I created a 3 to 5 year plan was when I returned home from my mission in 2012. I've accomplished most of those things. Finishing school was probably one of the last items on my list. I share this not to show how ambitious or awesome I am, but more to write it down and motivate myself. Some of these are vague, and I might spend more time later to flush them out a bit more.

5 Year Goals

  • Have a successful app published on the Google Play Store. 
  • Have a mid-level home. 
  • Have a child or two
  • Be a senior software developer, and make over $100k a year
  • Launch 5 businesses
  • Become a master of code
  • Get better at writing songs and producing music
  • Have a following on YouTube. Like 10k subscribers.
  • Have 100 guitar covers on YouTube.
  • Be very healthy.
  • Be out of debt 100%.
  • Travel to 2 new countries. (Brazil and England are high on the list)

Goals for 2017

  • Pay off as much debt as possible using the snowball effect
  • Manage finance using a budget
  • Lose 70lbs
  • Eat healthy
  • Make at least 12 guitar cover videos
  • Launch my business, SkyMastery, LLC. (Launch date Jan/09/2016)
  • Create and add two apps on the app store.
  • Create/find a CMS to make more complex websites to sell
  • Save $10,000
  • Go to the temple monthly
  • Play 12 shows with band
  • Finish producing CD by the end of Januaray.
  • Write in blog consistently.
  • Maybe visit Washington DC
  • Hike 10 different trails
  • Bike 4 different trails
  • Read 12 books
  • Learn new programming technologies. Thinking about Node.js, AngularJS, and MongoDB

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas was very special this year! Like it is every year. We went to Pasco to go to Summer's family. It was awesome because everybody was there. I was excited because they let us out of work early on Thursday, and Friday was PTO for Christmas Eve. (Since the 24th was on a Saturday). We tried to pack light, because we had a guitar and our puppy to bring to Washington. We had to get an emotional support dog note from my Surgeon, details on what it must contain. He's trained and does really well with people, and doesn't have many accidents, but sometimes he gets a little nervous in huge crowds (like busy airports) and when he's got to poop, he'll poop in public places. We made sure to give him a long walk beforehand and give him an all-natural calming agent. He did fantastic, and he put a smile on everyone's' face. We started farting near the end of plane ride, so we carried until we got out of the plane ride that he didn't poop in the airport. Which he immediately did after we set him on the grass outside.

We had a great time. The food was fantastic, we had pulled-pork tacos Christmas Eve, and traditional food Christmas Day such as ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, etc... We were excited to give Spencer an acoustic guitar, because he used to play all the time, but he had to sell his gear, and hasn't owned a guitar in a while. I tried many guitars before selecting a Mitchell. Under the tree, we put a box full of guitar accessories such as a strap, capo, picks, etc... When he opened it, we were going to go grab a guitar that we had in our room. Summer full down the stairs and sprained her wrist while retrieving the guitar. So we had to go the hospital and get an x-ray.

We went to Yakima to visit Summer's Grandpa and visit friends. I rented a car for my first time. We got a Toyota Camry, which was a really smooth enjoyable ride! I will say that the features were more sleek than our Subaru Impreza. But, it's only a two wheel drive.

It's always sad to get everyone together for such a short time and then have to say goodbye immediately after.

We plan on getting together next Thanksgiving!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Welcome to the Adventures of Daryl blog

I originally created this blog to solely be a travel blog. I had the intention of being a traveler extraordinaire, and I was going to catalog a comprehensive bucket list of all the places that I want to travel to, and to document traveling to those places.

I definitely feel blessed to have traveled as much as I've had, and I'm going to make it a priority to travel, but I'm starting to realize that it might take longer than first anticipated to visit all these places and they'll be more spread out. So not a lot of entries are being made into this blog.

I've decided to make this my personal blog, and write about all random facets my life. I first liked the idea of dedicating many blogs to simple purposes, like a blog for professional endeavors, musical endeavors, my band endeavors, random endeavors, etc... but that's a lot to keep up with, and this is a lot easier.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holiday Travel 2016

This Holiday Season, we are undertaking two back to back trips. We are first flying to Summer's family in Pasco, Washington to spend Christmas over there. We're especially excited, because the whole family will be there, which is not always easy to coordinate. Right after we get back, we'll have a ten hour "lay over" and fly straight to Cancun to spend New Years Eve and Three Kings Day.

Mako in the airport

It was challenging to prepare for both trips. Pasco will be cold and snowy, and we have a guitar to take, and our precious puppy. Cancun will be very warm and sunny.

Preparation for Cancun was challenging in the sense that nowhere sells summer clothes out of season. We ordered some stuff on Amazon, but a lot of it doesn't fit. We'll be able to return it for a full refund, but, we procrastinated, and ordered stuff like a week before we left.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Cavernous Malformation - Post Surgery

Apparently I was really funny after the surgery and was still under the influence of the anesthesia. I tried getting up off my bed and it took 5 nurses to keep me down. They had to use restraints to tie me to the bed. When I came to in my right mind, I wasn't restrained. But, I immediately did two things. I checked to see if I could still think and that I wasn't a vegetable. I thought, "I think, so therefore I am." I was thrilled. Then I wiggled my feet and my hands, and I was elated that I wasn't paralyzed.
The surgeon before the operation told us that it was unlikely, but there was a small risk of both of those things. I'm just super grateful that everything went well. Some people spent weeks in intensive care before and after surgery. I spent another night after the surgery, and I was doing so well that I was sent to a normal hospital room. I was doing so well there too, that after another day and a half, they said there was no reason to stay, that I could go home and recover from the surgery. I was so happy.

So many people came to visit me in the hospital, and it made me super happy to see everybody! I think I was supposed to be sleeping all the time, but it was much more enjoyable to interact with people. I was just happy to be alive.

My professor Jim, whose the Director of Undergraduate studies for the School of Computing came to visit me my first day in the hospital. That was the day that I was supposed to be presenting my Senior Project, and my Data Mining Project, both that I worked super hard on. It was really cool to see him and he assured me that everything would be resolved with this Semester after everything was resolved. I think that he felt responsible for me, since he told me to get checked out. I honestly doubt that he thought that my brain was bleeding and that I'd need brain surgery. I'm glad that he was so insistent that I get checked out. He actually came to see me again to check up on me, but I was already discharged.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Josh and Justine were there for most of my hospital stay. I wanted to show them all the cool sights of Salt Lake, but they had to go back to the Seattle. We were in the middle of moving and we didn't finish. They packed up everything into boxes. I don't know what we would have done without them.

I finally got to meet Alia, my cousin Sean's new wife. It was cool to see them. My wife has been talking with Alia a lot, and I think that they make great friends. They came all the way from Stockton, California. They came before the surgery, and they had to leave before I was discharged.

My immediate family, parents and siblings, were on an epic vacation to Las Vegas, and a lot of the hot spots in California, such as Knotsberry Farm, Disneyland, etc... They were leaving the day that I checked into the ER. When they heard that I was going to have brain surgery, I think that they were going to try to make the day of surgery, which was like 5 days for them. Once they heard that it would be tomorrow, I think they drove all the way from California straight, to see me. They got there in the wee hours of the morning. I was thrilled to see them, but I had such a bad migraine, that I didn't really want visitors that night. But, it was amazing to see them after that, and we even spent a few days at their house.

My parent in-laws drove from Pasco, Washington, and it was awesome to see them. They took a whole week off of work to help us recover and to transition to our new apartment. They were with us at the hospital a lot of the time.

My Senior Project Group, came to visit me in the hospital after the presentation. They said that we did well and that we had a lot of interaction with our apps. It was good to see them.

My buddy Leland and his wife Valerie visited again. His calling was to pass sacrament in the hospital, so he gave us the sacrament that Sunday.

My Aunt and Uncle Gord and Rosario, my cousin Phil and his wife Arielle, and my Grandma all came and visited. It was crazy, because just the prior weekend, we all got together to visit my Grandma on her birthday and I was doing fine then.

Mark from my band came and visited and we had a great chat. Other members apparently came after I had checked out.

The most important person who was beside me the whole time was my friend, my wife. I'm planning on dedicating a whole blog post to her.

A lot more people visited after I checkout and it was such a great experience to see so many people that I love.

My Cavernous Malformation - Return to the Hospital

It was not fun staying in the Intensive Care unit, so I was thrilled to go home. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law came from Seattle to come help us and to make sure that we weren't alone. They're cool people, and I was excited to hang out with them. I was supposed to be taking it easy, but I felt perfectly normal besides the speaking. I didn't do anything that strenuous that night. We went grocery shopping, played some light frisbee and then I had a headache and went to bed a little early around 9pm.

When I woke up around 2pm the next day, I had an unbearable migraine. I just wanted to sleep. Someone called the hospital and told them about my symptoms. The hospital said that that was not good and that I needed to go in immediately, and they'd move my surgery for tomorrow, instead of the following Tuesday, which was like 5 days. They were originally going to wait more time because I was more stable.

It wasn't fun being stuck in the Intensive Care again, getting my blood drawn every hour, nurses asking me what my name and what the date was even though I couldn't respond, but my head hurt so bad, I barely remember anything. I got strong pain medication, but it still hurt and the meds made my very nauseous. I couldn't sleep very well. I just wanted the night to be over. I was going to have surgery the next morning, around 7am. I wasn't very nervous for surgery at that moment. The migraine was so intense that I just wanted it to go away.

I was nervous for one last brain imaging scan they wanted to do, which involved sticking a rod into my groin that extended up my torso that shot out ink that would flow through my brain. Just sticking anything into my groin sounded painful. Which should have been a small concern to the concept of brain surgery, where they make an incision in your head, rip out a chunk of your skull, remove stuff that shouldn't be next to your brain, and patch you up together again. Luckily, they knocked me out for the test, and I didn't remember anything until I came to after the surgery.

Monday, May 9, 2016

My Cavernous Malformation - Hospital Stay 1

It was so surreal. I was going to be staying overnight in the Neuro Intensive care, and I was going to be getting brain surgery. This was the most inconvenient time ever. I was almost worried that my professors would think that this was some ploy to delay my finals.

I was monitored several times an hour to make sure that my condition didn't deteriorate, and to get get vitals. I was always asked my name, the date, how many figures they were holding. I couldn't recite the date, it was so bad. When I was finally allowed to eat that night, I ate ice cream. The first time that I had eaten ice cream that month.

My wife was so worried, that she wanted me to get a blessing that night at 10:00 pm. Luckily I have an awesome friend Leland at University Student Housing, and he came with his home teaching companion.

While, I couldn't speak, the Neurosurgery department remarked that I was doing remarkably stable. They scheduled a surgery the following week, and another MRI, and they planned on releasing me. I was thrilled.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Cavernous Malformation - How I found out

It was Sunday, April 24. I had just finished studying for finals for the night, and I decided to watch a couple of episodes of "The Office" with my wife before going to bed. Everything was normal, except that I started unintentionally stuttering, which is abnormal for me. Attributing this to the upcoming finals, I ignored it.

The next day, my stuttering got much worse. In fact, I was forgetting many of my words. My mind and body felt exactly the same, except that my mouth wouldn't say what I wanted it to. My wife was the first to be worried and told me that I should maybe talk to a doctor. But, I never go to doctors.

 The following day is when things got much worse. I was unable to string together an entire intelligible sentence. Sending texts and composing emails was very difficult. I had to give a final presentation to my professor to show off my Senior Project. I was embarrassed by inability to talk, and I tried my best to mask it. We were going to be graded on presentation, confidence, etc... I wasn't able to present very well. Instead of critiquing me, my professor told me that I didn't seem okay, and that I should go get checked out at the doctor. He told me to not ignore it.
I had plenty of tasks to do that day, and I thought that I'd maybe call a doctor's office if I had time later in the day.

I drove to work to get in a few hours. One of my co-workers asked me a simple question about the status of a specific project. I struggled so hard to respond that I wanted to break down. He told me that I probably wasn't stressed, and that I should go get help immediately. He helped me get checked into InstaCare where my wife met me.

I felt kinda foolish. I thought that they were going to tell me to relax, drink hot chocolate, and have less stress in the next couple of days. The doctor talked to me for 3 minutes, and told me that I'd my brain scanned, and that I'd need to go to the ER at the hospital.

I was a little annoyed by the hassle of going to the ER. I really didn't want to spend the money on fancy CAT scans and MRIs, just to be told that I was okay and that I needed to stress less. The doctors were very nice, and I met with a lot of them, most of them perplexed that I seemed to be reasonably healthy and normal. I realized that I could comprehend things perfectly, but I couldn't speak out loud. Like I couldn't read words, dates, or numbers.

I finally got my brain scanned. I was shocked by the results. My brain had internal bleeding, and I was most likely going to need brain surgery. I just thought of the clip of Anchorman, "Well that escalated quickly!"

Earlier that day, my biggest worries were pushing myself to run 2 miles, study for finals, coordinate with my band to shoot music videos for our press-kit, just accepted my first post-graduation job, and signing a contract for my new apartment. Now that all of that would have to be placed on hold until I figure out exactly what was going on with me, and what impact that this would have on my life.

I'll have to write this in chunks at a time. The part of my brain that was affected was the expressive side. The part of my brain that had surgery is tingling right now.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A New Chapter

Summer and I have been watching this semi-dumb but surprisingly likeable TV show, Hart of Dixie. You follow the lives of several characters in a small southern town. We just finished the last season last night, and I'm surprisingly suffering post-show depression. They wrapped it up very nicely. All the characters found their "happily ever afters" and ended in a chorus of song. What made it so beautiful was that every character went through many failures and made many mistakes on their path towards their "happily ever after".

When I came home off my mission, I had just given two years of my life to the Lord, and I was excited to start focusing on me and my goals. My mission was a very positive experience that blessed me with great social skills, and the drive to set and accomplish goals. Even though I had no college degree, no girlfriend, no job, no money, and no car, I knew that I had a great future ahead of me because there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish. I'd almost describe it as a "life high".

We went to Tahiti for 4 weeks, after 3 weeks of being home. While it was amazing experience to reconnect with a beautiful land and an amazing family that I hardly knew, I wanted to get home to start living my short-term and long term goals. I think that my parents were confused as to why I'd want to go back home, but it made sense to me at the time. On the way home from that trip, I mapped out my entire life and decided what I wanted to do, be, and accomplish.

I a list of 3 - 5 year long term goals.

  1. Get my Computer Science degree, and possibly get my master's at Stanford.
  2. Be out of debt, and start investing money.
  3. Become a great musician
  4. Get in really good shape. I was already in good shape, I just wanted to step it up even more.
  5. I wanted to find the perfect girl and get married.
  6. Be educated, speak several languages
  7. Be a spiritual giant

Then I created sub-goals, and daily habits that I would need to practice to achieve these goals. I thought that I had to live this perfect life, not making any mistakes to achieve my happily ever after. I did really good the first year. I got a 3.87 at school, I had no debt, I started a band, I worked out everyday, I ate good foods everyday, I spoke Spanish and French fluently, and I was learning Portuguese, and I felt very close to my Heavenly Father. I had a fun part-time job.

These were to be my main goals during the "Student Phase" of my life. Things changed. Mistakes were made. Priorities shifted along the way. I was lucky enough to marry the girl of my dreams, have a great part-time high paying internship, maintain a band, among other things. While I've certainly fallen off the path of perfection, I've always took comfort in knowing that I'm steadily advancing towards my BS in CS degree.

 But, these past 4 years, I've felt as Jack Sparrow in the opening scene for Pirates of the Caribbean, where his sights were set towards the dock, as his ship was slowly sinking. I feel as though my life is the ship that is sinking, and the dock is University Graduation Day. I've concentrated on that point so much, that it scares me a little to reach it. I'm about to drop the ring into the depths of volcano of Mordor, but what happens after? Who is the person I want to be? How will I write the next chapter of my life? What will be the next big quest? Those are questions I'm contemplating as I'm about to graduate.

I'm immensely grateful for everybody whose gotten me to this point. My loving wife, who lets me do homework, my family whose been supportive of me every step of the way, my friends who were positive influences and great examples, and Heavenly Father, who has given me the strength, and knowledge to reach this point. I was petrified of Math when I first started my degree. I know now that it must have been the Angel of Calculus inspiring me to get all the way through Calculus 3.

I will post about my new goals in a following post as I think about them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bear Lake Family Trip Pitch

Bear Lake was one of my favorite Boy Scout camps growing up. I loved the beaches, wading on the beach, and the cool water sports we did on boats, such as knee boarding and tubing. I haven't done a ton of research, but I'm just throwing this idea out there.

  1. Bear Lake is a huge lake that lies in between Idaho and Utah.

      2.  It boasts great sand beaches that are perfect for relaxing and swimming:

     3.   It’s big and open, making it perfect for jet skis, boating, tubing, etc…

    4.  Plenty of camping options, by the West Shore, East Shore, and North Shore.

    5.  1.5 hours from Lava Hot Springs (Possible Day Trip)
                (We could even just go here)

Tubing in the river

Natural hot springs

Huge Water Park

     6.  It's in Utah, but not too far for the folks in California and Washington.